Devastating Hurricanes

Problem

A senior executive, who is experienced in forensic engineering, investigation, mitigation, response, repair, and rehabilitation and is a regular reader reached out and suggested I produce an information piece on people who are not evacuating in the face of Hurricanes. Hurricanes are unpredictable and can blow in any direction. Irma is now the mother of all hurricanes.

The forecasts for Hurricane Irma are dire. The National Hurricane Center has used the word “catastrophic” to describe the magnitude of destruction expected to be caused by strong winds and heavy rain. However, there is no way get 100 percent of folks to evacuate. Another friend and a senior executive decided to leave his South Florida home with his wife before Irna comes knocking. And then there are people like many friends and relatives who can’t stand to leave their pets behind.

The reasons why some people refuse to evacuate are varied. Some are not able due to disabilities, so they simply can’t get out of their homes and don’t have anyone to help them. But, in this day and age when warnings are blasted out via media, and through old-fashioned door-to-door notifications, this is becoming less likely.

Others with greater means sometimes refuse to evacuate fearing of their home being damaged or looted.
And research suggests that if public safety officials make evacuation orders mandatory, people are more likely to heed the orders and flee.

This one could be the worst and most catastrophic Hurricane Irma to reach the US and expected to wreak havoc and destruction throughout the Caribbean with a potential landfall in Florida over the weekend.

Hurricane conditions begin within the hurricane area in the US Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico. Destructive winds, storm surge, dangerous surf, heavy rainfall and flash flooding are possible. There is an increasing chance of seeing impacts from Irma in parts of Florida later this week.

After strengthening to a Category 5 with winds over 185 mph, Irma made landfall in several Caribbean islands. Over 100 Florida National Guard members are working with storm preparations. The state's full complement of 7,000 Guard members will report for late this week. A mandatory evacuation for visitors to the Florida Keys was set to begin Wednesday, with residents required to evacuate later in the day.

A word to the wise is sufficient. These websites track hurricanes, storms, tornadoes, and cyclones.

http://www.noaa.gov/

http://www.weather.gov/

http://www.nhc.noaa.gov/